Lying off the west coast of Vietnam's Mekong Delta, the mountainous and forested Phu Quoc is a splendid tropical getaway set with beautiful white-sand beaches and quaint fishing villages.
A visit to Phu Quoc is a good, affordable opportunity to relax, spend time on the beach, kayak its quiet inlets, scuba dive or snorkel the coral reefs, or simply have a great seafood meal followed by a cocktail on the beach. With its five-star resorts and elegant family-run bungalows, Phu Quoc is one of Vietnam’s star attractions in its own right.
Phu Quoc is called the island of pearls from the wealth bestowed to it by nature and its rich tourism potential. The island has many beautiful beaches. Visitors to Phu Quoc can swim, hike, visit the caves, go jungle trekking, and more.
Flying to Phu Quoc is the most convenient way to get to the island, with at least 10 daily flights direct from Tan Son Nhat Airport - Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) and the capital city of Hanoi. Flight time is approx 40minutes and cost at time of writing is US$40 one-way (plus a small booking fee). Indirect flights from Ho Chi Minh City via Rach Gia are also available on most days.
Vietnam Airlines, Jetstar and VietJet Air fly are 3 commercial airlines which currently flies to the island. In recent years during the peak season additional flights have been scheduled (up to 15 flights per day) to ease the high demand for seats, so if you plan on visiting during the months of January or February and weekends or public holidays like Chinese New Year (TET) in particular, it is worthwhile booking early if you intend to fly, as seats can sell out far in advance.
Phu Quoc International airport is located in Duong To and became operational on December 2, 2012. There is a wide variety of transport options available on arrival, the majority of resorts have organised airport pick up services as these are located south of Duong Dong Town following Long Beach, and for others, taxi’s or motorbikes are available or some guest houses and hotels will offer free transport to their establishments.
Travelling to Phu Quoc by boat, ferry, hydrofoil and Boat to Phu Quoccruise liner is becoming a popular option as the number of tourists visiting the island increases each year. With continued development of the port facilities on Phu Quoc, more services will become available in the years to come. There are currently a variety of services available between the Vietnamese mainland and Phu Quoc Island, running frequent daily services. Less regular international services are also available from time to time, though it is worth checking beforehand with the specific companies. We provide a summary below of the services and schedules currently available to Phu Quoc Island ports.
Connecting from MainlandServices generally take around 2:30 hours from Rach Gia and 1:15 hours from Ha Tien, with most vessels docking at An Thoi Port, though some services also dock at Duong Dong port. Minibus and motorbike taxi connections are available on arrival in An Thoi, if travelling onto Duong dong, long beach or any of the resorts or hotels on the island.
Best months to travel by boat
The best time to Travel by sea is during the dry season when seas are calm (late October to May), as seas are rougher during the monsoon season (June – September). Check our climate and weather page for more weather related information.
Other sea options
Some boats also run from Ham Ninh port in the east of Phu Quoc to Ha Tien on the mainland (near the Cambodian border) however departures are erratic, particularly in the dry season when a small boats transfers passengers between the ferry and Ha Tien due to low water levels. Best to use alternative services.
The Border crossing between Cambodia (Kampot) and Ha Tien opened in May 2007, however if entering Vietnam you will need a Vietnamese visa in advance, which are not issued at the border.
1. Snorkeling at Turtle Island
You should book a tour boat to Turtle Island. It only take 20 minutes to get to this tiny beautiful island. After snorkeling, grab some lunch aboard the boat where they serve super fresh seafood. Ask to try fishing as well! They’ll scale and cook the fish you catch for you.
2. Beautiful beaches
Phu Quoc is famous for its white sandy beaches and foamy blue-green sea. With the white sands and the green, clear water, Dai Beach and Sao Beach is the most beautiful and primitive beaches. Many large trees grow straightaway along to the coast. However, Bai Sao is relatively isolated with just few tourists or travelers. Lazily lying on the beach to enjoy the clear blue sky and sunshine, enjoying a local bottle of beer just can make your Phu Quoc holiday.
3. Pepper farm
There are many pepper farms in Phu Quoc which you can visit. After walking amongst the tall stalks of pepper plant, you can buy some fresh made peppers as souvenirs
4. Visit Dinh Cau Rock (Temple)
Located at the south of the Duong Dong River, Dinh Cau Rock or Dinh Cau Temple is one of the popular attractions in Phu Quoc.
It is a combination of a Buddhist temple and a lighthouse that was built in 1937 as a dedication to Thien Hau (the Goddess of the sea) who provides protection for the fisherman and vessels that head out to the open waters. Climbing the steps offers a better view of the many fishing boats navigating the narrow river opening, as well as views along the coast.
5. Discover Ganh Dau
Ganh Dau must be in the list of your trip to Phu Quoc. Situated in the northern part of Phu Quoc, Ganh Dau is the place whare the pristine forests, mountains, and seas remain intact. The most enjoyable activity when you visit Ganh Dau is just swimming and viewing the borderland between Vietnam and Cambodia. If you like exploring, you can rent boats to come to two islands offshore: Hon Ban and Hon Thay Boi.
6. Explore Phu Quoc National Park
Located on an island with mixed terrestrial and coastal climates, Phu Quoc National Park contains many forest types and landscapes, including mangroves and wetlands, sparse forested areas, coastal vegetation and forest on rocky mountains. Covering 50% area of the island, Phu Quoc National Park is home to a total of 208 animal species, including 28 mammals, 119 birds, 47 reptiles and 14 amphibians. Hire a motorbike on your own and explore the northerly parts of the island. The best areas and most forested parts can be found on the road toward Ganh Dau. To get there, take the road from Duong Dong towards Bai Thom and turn off toward Ganh Dau. The national park becomes more apparent the closer you get to Ganh Dau Village.
7. Visit Ham Ninh fishing village
Located 20km northeast of Duong Dong town, Phu Quoc district, Ham Ninh village is renowned for its breathtaking natural scenery and peaceful daily life of local fishermen.
In hot summer days, traveling to Ham Ninh, visitors are likely to leave their bustling life behind, and be lost in the picturesque scenery here. Stunned by the turquoise sea, tourists are certainly tempted to immerse themselves into the cool water and contemplate small fishes swimming beside them, and seaweed floating in the blue water.
Visiting Ham Ninh, travelers have a golden chance to taste mouth-watering and healthful drinks and seafood like ginseng-seaweed water, “Tram” mushroom (a special kind of mushroom in the island), sea-horse soaking in the liquor and so on. And it is so great to lie on the sand, enjoy boiled flower crab meat and watch the stunning sunset on the beach. Before returning home, visitors can buy flower crabs, a bottle of sea-horse in liquor or some souvenirs made of shell as gifts for friends and family.
8. Learn about Phu Quoc Prison
Phu Quoc Prison was built in 1949-1950 by the French colonists to jail those considered especially dangerous to the colonist government. Many of the high ranking leaders of Vietnam were detained here in their earlier days. It is ranked as a special historical relic of national importance by the government of Vietnam. The most famous site in this prison is the "tiger cage". The prison covers an area of 40,000 square metres. It was closed after the country united and opened for visitors later.
9. Buy Phu Quoc fish sauce
There are over 100 fish sauce producers in Phu Quoc. Phu Quoc fish sauce is renowned for its traditional flavor that has been maintained for more than 100 years. You can buy fish sauce as gifts.
10. Go to Phu Quoc Market
The market is bustling from early morning with all kinds of boats providing fruit and seafood. The everyday life of ordinary people on the island can be seen from this market.
11. Enjoy seafood at Dinh Cau Night Market
The market opens daily from 18h to 23h in Duong Dong town, where you can freely select and taste the delicacies that are not to be missed, such as lobster, herring salad and snails.
Looking for adventure on Phu Quoc Island or something that's a little different, then checkout and try some of our suggestions below for an interesting day out.
Motor bike riding
This may not sound like the most adventurous activity on the planet, though once you get out on those Phu Quoc red dirt roads and find those out of the way places on the island, you'll understand why hiring a motorbike is an adventurous activity. We're not trying to turn the island into a motor cross rally of course, it's just probably the best and most interesting way of exploring Phu Quoc.
Of course you need to find the right places for adventure, so in the spirit of adventure it's best to find your own. However to give you a start, some of the best off the beaten track places will be found on the up north, including:
Riding around Bai Dai Beach and Ganh Dau headlands in the top northwest and riding back through the national park area.
The even more remote Bai Thom Beach Area at the top of the island, with lots of sandy tracks leading to the beaches through cashew nut plantations.
Riding around the old bridges of Cua Can Village is an interesting experience, just watch out for on coming traffic.
Hiring your own boat
This is an island, and where there's an island there's fishing, and where's there's fishing there's boats. So find yourself a keen fisherman and hire him and his boat for the day or a couple of hours wherever you are. Half the adventure is bargaining a price, the other half is exploring what's out there, though no doubt the fisherman know some interesting places, otherwise, just go fishing! Here's a few places that might do the trick;
An Thoi Town: you can't really go wrong here, boats leave all the time to the islands down south, however why not hire you're own, they come in all sizes so find one that suits you. Plenty of fisherman here that would be keen to take you for a spin.
Duong Dong: Another good place to try just because of the large number of fishing boats, its not as close to some of the small islands around Phu Quoc, so you might end up fishing, though viewing the Duong Dong river is another interesting alternative.
Cua Can: Plenty of fishing boats, however it might be possible to find someone to take you around the scenic river around town, and there's a couple of small islands a little further north.
Vung Bau Beach is close to Turtle Island (Doi Moi) and you might be able to get across for a snorkel or a swim. The guy running the dive shop might be able to take you for a spin for a fee as well.
National Park walks
There are a couple of basic walking tracks in the national park, however if you're thinking of attempting any walk on your own through the thick jungle, please make sure you're very prepared (tell someone where you're going, take water, food etc). There are plans in the future for a walk to the highest point on the island at Mount Chua 603m with a viewpoint, though this is still someway off.
Of the National park walking tracks, one with the best access is found on the road to Ganh Dau Village (forest walk), see Visiting the National Park.Top of page
Jet skiing and water sports
Still new to Phu Quoc, though starting to appear are the usual variety of water sports including jet skiing, kayaking and wind sailing, with just a matter of time before water skiing takes off given the calm waters around the island during the high season. The best places to find these water sports include some of the resorts on Long Beach including Saigon Phu Quoc Resort and some Jet Skis and Kayaks are available on Bao Sao beach at My Lan Resort.
May not sound too adventurous, though when was the last time you've been squid fishing at night? There's plenty of tours on offer, so head out for an evening of squid fishing and if you're lucky you'll have your own self caught dinner grilled on the spot.
Explore local markets
You're in Vietnam so what could be more fun than exploring the local Duong Dong Market early in the morning, see our Local Markets section for a little more information. For a few ideas;
Get off the main road into some of the sheds that sell fish, there's any amazing array of seafood for sale, or
Walk down to the other end of the market and visit places few tourists venture, there's more to town than the main roads, or
Checkout the variety of fruit and vegetables on offer, why not try a fruit you've never tried before, they could better than you think.
Find your own beach
Phu Quoc island is still undeveloped for the time being and even during the high session there are still plenty of remote and empty beaches. Of course it may take a little work trying to find these beaches, pack a lunch and towel, hit the road and venture out and see what you find. We're not giving away any secret locations, though you're best opportunities for empty sun drenched beaches under those coconut trees will be found around the northern part of the island.